Top Tips for Travelling with Kids
The school holidays are so close I can almost smell them! Everyone dreads the first part of the holidays though don’t they- the ‘getting there’. This article will provide you with my top ten tips to make the journey and your first day harmonious and relaxing.The first tip for travelling with children of all ages is simple. If you’re happy, they’re happy. A holiday vibe is easy to catch, but a little bit of preparation is the key to a happy harmonious holiday.
Here are my top ten tips:
- Views and tranquility are important. I’ll let you into a secret- when I stay somewhere without a view, I don’t relax to the same extent. The view can be of a gorgeous garden, a rainforest, a mountain, or the ocean, but I have to have a view of something. It helps me unwind and is especially important for me in the early hours of the morning when I get up before my family. This is my time, and I personally like to hear the sounds of nature, and watch the sunrise. I also like to meditate in proximity to nature, so if I can do it from a verandah with a view, or sit in a garden that’s ideal. Make sure you request a view at the time of booking; pay the extra to upgrade, it’s worth it.
- Book a house or a cabin with enough space: Everyone needs spot to chill in without having to jump over each other. A house you say- that’s too expensive? No, we beg it is not. In our experience, the best houses are those with the simple essentials- access to a pool, a spa, a beach or a canal. Yep, one of those, and you’ve got hours of entertainment for everyone in the family, no matter what the season is. Want to know other benefits of staying in a house when travelling with kids? For mothers with infants and toddlers, a house means you don’t have to worry about the noise that the little ones make when they wake with boundless energy at 5am. You also don’t have to worry about the sound of chairs scraping on the floor and echoing through to the apartment below. It’s also nice to have some space to move and take the baby to sit on the deck whilst you feed, and gaze at the view. Did we mention that houses give you room to bring the scooter and push trikes? Garden access is a sanity restorer, as you can let the kids run around. And if you choose a beach or canal front location, you have sand play in an instant, not to mention the ability to wear the tykes out so that they have that mid morning sleep without tears.
- Pre-organise your food and drinks via online shopping to arrive shortly after you do. The most stressful part of any holiday is the travel there and home again. Don’t rush around doing the grocery shopping only to tear your hair out wondering how you are going to transport the Brie without it getting squashed. Now that you know where you are staying, be smart and do your online shopping and organise to have your groceries delivered shortly after your arrival time. All the major supermarkets home deliver, and if you’re into boutique and organic, Google the local producers to find out who delivers in the area. Alternatively check if there is a breakfast hamper or welcome pack as a part of your accommodation. If a restaurant is more your style then pre book your reservation for the first night. You don’t want to have to think when you arrive.
- Pack aromatic candles or bring your diffuser with your favourite essential oils with you. You just need to get from stressed mode to relaxed mode in the shortest time possible. I recommend saving one aroma for your holidays. That way your family will subconsciously associate the smell with holidays and begin to unwind as soon as the aroma begins to fill the room.
- Charge electronic devices: Make sure all your electronic devices are charged and that you have packed the charger. Pre-download audio books, movies and playlists for each of your kids (unless yours are big enough and have already organised this). It will take time to set up, but you’ll have it organised for each holiday commute in the future. Buy headphones so that everyone can listen to their own music/books. If you have a nanny or house manager, they can do this for you.
- Travel snacks: Assign each member of the family their travel snacks and drinks and place them on their seat in the car for when you leave. This means you don’t have to worry about stopping on the way, or trying to distribute food from the front seat.
- Holiday rules: Daylight = device free– that means for everyone. Check your iPads and phones in the pantry and allow everyone to become exhausted before they are allowed to chill out with them in the late afternoon. It’s good for the kids to complain that they are bored. Once they break through the “I’m bored factor” they become creative and invent games to play.
- Pack holiday games: Simple family holiday games to pack that will entertain the whole tribe include bocce, frisbee, kites and a couple of good old fashioned board games for inside or rainy weather. Check if your accommodation provider has these first! I always bring colouring pencils and stationery for everyone- including mindful colouring in books for the grown ups!
- Capture memories mindfully. For those with older children a fun idea is to give everyone an underwater disposable camera or a polaroid camera. The new Polaroid cameras instantly print and your kids will love taking photos with them. Underwater cameras will provide hours of fun on the beach or in the pool. You could also give each child a travel diary to record their feelings, and paste the pictures in.
- Pre-organise your meal for when you get home: so you just have to get it out of the freezer, or call for takeaway on the drive home. Remember to preload the phone numbers in your phone.
Travelling with kids is fun, and before you know it you’ll be asking your friends to come with you, and having joint family holidays. Happy Holidays, you’re going to have a fantastic time.
This article was originally published in a different format on Alluxia.com, and was written by Katische. It has been revised and reformatted.